The Mat-Su Borough eliminates business license requirements

Alaska Businesses Rejoice as Matanuska-Susitna Borough Repeals License Requirement

In a unanimous vote, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly has repealed the business license requirement for businesses operating within the Borough. This change will take effect as soon as it is signed by Mayor Edna DeVries. With this repeal, businesses will no longer need to purchase and display a borough license, which was first introduced in 1995 and required a $100 fee with renewal every two years.

Despite the repeal of the borough license requirement, businesses in Alaska are still required to hold a state-issued license with an annual fee of $50, as well as a city-issued license in Mat-Su cities such as Palmer, Wasilla, or Houston, which costs $25 each year. The repeal will not affect these state and local license requirements.

More than 10,000 entities currently hold borough business licenses, but data gathered from these registrations has not been used for economic development purposes in over 20 years. The income generated by the license fees primarily functioned as a business tax rather than supporting economic development.

Borough officials estimate that they will lose about $541,000 annually in income from license fees. However, they hope to offset this loss by redirecting business license staff to focus on securing new federal funding sources through grant applications. They note that business registration information previously used by the borough to contact local companies about regulatory changes and programs is already shared by the state.

The proposal to repeal the business license requirement was sponsored by Mayor DeVries and Borough Assembly members Dee McKee and Rob Yundt. They aim to streamline the process for businesses operating in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and shift their focus towards more beneficial initiatives.

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